Second Capital identified as a viable business destination
The City of Francistown will soon shake off its ‘Ghetto’ name tag and transform into a modern city that’ll be a gateway to the rest of Africa.
According to Business Botswana Regional Manager-North Kebaabetswe Bogatsu, Francistown is on the brink of realising her potential despite the recent closure of Tati Nickel Mine.
Bogatsu envisages a Francistown whose economy is not heavily reliant on mining, but a city which was able to repackage itself and explore other opportunities “which are abundant,” said Bogatsu.
Speaking recently at the launch of The First Sun Executive Plus at Thapama Hotel, Bogatsu emphasised that despite the setbacks caused by the mine closure Francistown is still a viable business destination.
“This city is still very much open for business. We just need to repackage ourselves and look at other industries that never existed in the city,” said Bogatsu.
The Business Botswana Executive said there is no difference between Francistown and Gaborone, hence no reason for the northern city to be lagging behind in terms of development and business opportunities.
Bogatsu urged entrepreneurs and potential investors to look beyond mining and think outside the box.
He said it beats logic as to why the city is struggling when its one of the first urban places in the country.
“Francistown is one of the first mining towns in Southern Africa. There is a good case for cultural tourism, the city has a rich history that needs to be exploited,” he said.
Commending The First Sun Brokers for launching and reaching out to their stakeholders in Francistown Bogatsu urged entrepreneurs to be bold and set up businesses in the second city and be part of the inevitable transformation.
“There is so much opportunity for private education institutions. Be bold and set up your campuses here and decongest Gaborone,” he said.
He said educational institutions should be scrambling to get a piece of the second city and position themselves as the “Francistown dream is too close”.
“This city is geographically located to be the gateway to Central Africa and indeed the rest of the continent,” he said.
He further said the strategic position of Francistown will be fully appreciated after the opening of the Kazungula bridge.
“Traffic will now be diverted and goods all over Africa will pass through this city to access the bridge. Francistown will soon be a gateway to Africa, the dream is not too far,” he said.
Bogatsu said the dream will be further enhanced by the recent investment on the city’s road network.
A couple of roads in Francistown are currently under construction and most are expected to be open to the public around April.
Besides the Tonota/Francistown highway and Thapama interchange, the Gerald link road will soon be constructed.
The dual carriage-way road starts from the roundabout circle in Gerald and goes through the airport and joins A3 road to Maun at the four way junction stop with new bridge road.
The BB Regional Manager also said there is an untapped opportunity in private health care.
“It is an opportunity that those with the means should be looking into. The recent ground breaking ceremony of Academic Francistown Hospital is a good indicator that opportunities are abundant.
“With world class health facilities in the city, well be able to extend our services to countries like Zimbabwe. Our tourists in Okavangeo will now be 45 minutes away from a state of the art health facility,” said Bogatsu.
Bogatsu further said Francistwo will benefit from the Sowa Pan’s beneficiation drive. He said the city due to its proximity to Sowa is best placed for any industroes dealing with Soda Ash.
“Set up your business here and get your raw materials and very low prices; I mean the soda ash passes through Francistown,” he said.
“The Francistown dream is truly alive,” said Bogatsu.